We signed a contract to have work done on our patio. The contractor did some of the work and then stopped and now is not returning our phone calls. We paid him half of the money and told him we'll pay the balanced owed after he completes the project but we really don't believe he is ever going to finish. Can we legally break the contract? We just want to get the project finished and will find another contractor.
The answer primarily depends on how long you have been trying to reach the contractor. If he has disappeared for a significant period of time, then you can probably establish that he has breached th contract and you can find another contractor to finish the project. Whether the contractor is entitled to any part of the second payment (or even entitled to keep all of the first payment) will depend on how much of the work was done and what it will take to get the project finished.
You can reach Harkess & Salter LLC at (303) 531-5380 or [email protected] Stephen Harkess is an attorney licensed in the state and federal courts of Colorado. This answer is for general information only and does not create an attorney client relationship between Stephen Harkess or Harkess & Salter LLC and any person. You should schedule a consultation with an attorney to discuss the specifics of your legal issues.
Maybe but you really need to consult with an attorney. First, the contractor may have already breached the contract if there was a deadline to perform and it passed. Second, you have good intution. The law has a concept called "anticipatory repudiation." That's a fancy way of saying the other side will not perform under the contract so you are free to break the agreement as well. In order to use this doctrine, the contractor must have clealy indicated his intent not to finish the job. Silence may not be enough. You probably need a lawyer to help with this and maybe to get some of your money back. Several hundred dollars of legal fees may save you thousands. You could do this yourself, but the contractor needs to commit thought words, letters, emails or actions that he will not or cannot finish the job.
Answering this quetion does not establish an attorney client relation. The answer is for educational purposes only. You should consult an attorney for your circumstances.
My esteemed colleagues are correct. Please consult one of them or any attorney for a free initial consultation.
Our Rating is calculated using information the lawyer has included on their profile in addition to the information we collect from state bar associations and other organizations that license legal professionals. Attorneys who claim their profiles and provide Avvo with more information tend to have a higher rating than those who do not.What determines Avvo Rating?Experience & background
Years licensed, work experience, educationLegal community recognition
Peer endorsements, associations, awardsLegal thought leadership
Publications, speaking engagementsDiscipline